While fighting with swords might seem like a dangerous sport, Illawarra fencing enthusiast Laura Goodin says her chosen pursuit is marked by its composure and lack of injury.
"It can be a little off-putting at first to have a sword coming at you, but the safety gear is extremely good and the injury rate for Olympic fencing is actually lower than the rate for Olympic table tennis," she said. "Every fencer has a bruise now and then but the weapons are designed for safety."
Ms Goodin is the assistant coach for Bulli Swords fencing club, which held a fencing demonstration to boost membership in Crown Street Mall on Saturday.
Club members showed off their sparring skills and demonstrated attack and defence techniques, as well as the traditional salutes and handshakes.
"We take good sportsmanship very seriously," she said.
"Nobody wants a thug on the piste."
The trained martial artist started attending Bulli Swords about four years ago, looking for a new challenge and says anyone over 12 can benefit from the unusual sport.
"There are so many ways to be good - some people fence for fitness, some for the adventure and theatricality and some because it works your body and mind."